Innovative Programs

Penny for Thought

We love highlighting organizations making a difference in the world, and are honored to introduce Penny for Thought to the UFWH family. Here’s a little about it from the words of its founder, Jennifer Ward”


Penny for Thought is a volunteer and donation program that was adopted by St Jude’s Women’s Auxiliary.  It began with the mission to provide life’s necessities to children in need, but has evolved into much more.

St Jude’s Women’s Auxiliary is Las Vegas’ oldest volunteer-only nonprofit organization.  Founded in 1967, our members are the daughters and granddaughters of our founding women.

We receive a lot of our donations from the airport and hotels lost and found.  We try to be as green as possible.  In doing so, we ere selected to be a  part of First Friday’s Green Street.

  • We distribute items donated to local  school children who are homeless or at risk.
  • We donate all eye glasses to the blind center to reuse frames.
  • Hotel keys and credit cards are repurposed into guitar picks.
  • Old shoes are donated to Horses for Heroes to repurpose into basketball courts in inner cities.
  • Dress clothing is given to students going to job interviews.
  • Formal wear and jewelry is saved for the Las Vegas Prom Closet and Cinderella Prom.
  • Blankets and hoodies are saved for at risk high school students.
  • Food items are distributed to schools and NV Youth Homeless Alliance.
  • Old blankets and towels go to the Animal Foundation.
  • Crutches and walkers are donated to local nursing homes

The rest of the items are sold at our store, The Good Buy Shop.  The store is located at 1717 E Charleston in Las Vegas.  All monies are donated to local children’s charities at the end of the year.  This year, donations we made to Positively Kids, Nevada Homeless Alliance, and Three Square.

We have an event called Junk In The Trunk with University Methodist Church at the end of semesters at UNLV where students clean out their dorms and apartments instead of throwing it in dumpsters and costing UNLV a fortune.  A thesis was done on the amount of waste every semester.  It is staggering!  All donations are then redistributed to local at risk schools.

Right now we are hosting Wash Away Your Sins.  We are asking the community to come together and gather their excess hotel toiletries.  We have 6,500 homeless kids going back to school.  We would like to be able to put on toiletry bag in each backpack that Title One HOPE will be providing to the students.

We are also part of One Run, held on September 14 at Town Square Mall on Las Vegas Boulevard.

We will be hosting our 2nd annual Making Change event at First Friday on Nevada Day, November 1.  All coins collected will be used to purchase food for CCDS Title One HOPE students.

We work with the National PTA Urban Family Engagement Network, hosting training to parents on their rights and responsibilities through local PTA.

We are currently working with the City of Las Vegas and other civic minded individuals to build the Mayor’s Faith Initiative.  The youth initiative is developing a platform called The Spot.  We are working to join the faith communities with CCSD mentorship programs and PTA’s by meeting the students where they are at with mentoring and tutoring opportunities, civic beautification, games, gardening and refreshments.  We would like to provide opportunities for our students on school campuses or nearby houses of worship.


This post was provided by Jennifer Ward.
Thank you, Jennifer, for giving UFWH members many new ideas to help fight hunger!